Ellis named Jefferson County School District’s 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 6, 2022

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Nekisha S. Ellis has been named Jefferson County School District’s 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year, the district announced Wednesday.

Ellis is an alum of Jefferson County High School’s Class of 1990.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Alcorn State University and a Master of Education degree from Belhaven University in 2020.

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She is set to begin studying for her specialist’s degree in educational leadership this month.

She holds a teaching certification in English (7-12) and qualifies for an endorsement in Literacy Ready and Essentials for College Literacy Grade 12.

Ellis has been employed with the Jefferson County School District as an English Language Arts teacher since August 2001. She has taught 10th through 12th grade ELA, as well as creative writing and journalism and theatre arts.

During her tenure in the school district, she has served the school district in various capacities, such as English Department Chair, Teacher-Support-Team (TST) member, PBIS Committee member, Disciplinary Committee member, School Recognition Program Teacher Committee member, and as an advisor to the Principal’s School Improvement Team.

She is currently a member of the School Leadership Team and has served as senior class sponsor for over ten years.

She is the mother of two daughters, Kayla Hydeia and Cicely Grace, a senior at JCHS.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘The purpose of education is to educate each one of us to think critically and to think intensively,’” principal David Day said.  “Ms. Ellis is definitely a divine vessel for ensuring this purpose is fulfilled. Her dedication to the success of the children at JCHS is immeasurable.  We are honored to announce Ms. Ellis as our 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year.”

Ellis said teaching is one of the most distinguished forms of public service. Preparing students for their future is a tremendous responsibility, and she does not take this challenge lightly, as her past and current students can attest.

Her educational philosophy is, “show students where to look, but never what to see.”

“I am extremely proud and pleased with all of our honorees for Teacher of the Year,” superintendent Adrian Hammitte said.  “Ms. Ellis is a highly skilled and effective teacher who has a heart for teaching.  As a veteran teacher, she has dedicated her adult life to educating children in Jefferson County.  She is very deserving of this recognition.”

“This is an exciting time for all of our honorees,” Hammitte said.  “They have worked so hard to educate children despite the challenges of this global pandemic. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire Jefferson County School District, I congratulate them for being named Teacher of the Year at their respective school and Ms. Ellis for being named District Teacher of the Year.”